Saturday, August 25, 2007

This way I skip the inheritance tax, $12 at a time

A few years ago I inherited my dad's tiller. Well, inherit might not be the correct word, since Dad IS still alive. Stole. That's the word I need. See, I borrowed the tiller. Even had Dad deliver it to me. And then I never seemed to take it back. So I guess I stole the tiller. It even has a specific spot in the storage shed, so I know the tiller is here to stay.

Anyways, that machine costs me money every time I touch it, so I am glad I only need it twice a year. When I was prepping the garden this spring I blew a tire. It just got so flat that it actually slipped off of the wheel. But I was pretty sure it could be reinstalled and it would still hold air. Then I noticed the valve stem was cracked, probably how the air got out in the first place. I managed to get the stem out, but no way could I install the new one. $3 on a valve down the drain.

I thought I got lucky last spring at a car parts swap meet, when I stumbled onto a booth selling off tiller and lawnmower parts. I bought a tire and new wheel for $12. But it was the wrong size wheel so it would not mount to my tiller. At least I did not pay the full $15 the guy wanted...

So I searched for a tube. After a few stops and a couple of hours of looking, I found one at the tractor store out by The Boss Lady's school. But I cut a hole in it when I tried to install it. Another $12 down the drain. Plus the time and gas for the hunt.

Today I finally decided that I would revisit the tiller tire. Yep, it was still in the shed and still flat. After a few phone calls I found a place that might be able to reinstall my tire. So I ran down there and all of the guys agreed that they could not remount that tire with the equipment in their shop.

One guy finally said he could do it. And all of the other guys dared him to try. I was willing to let this guy take a ribbing from his co-workers if there was a chance that he might be successful, and he sounded pretty sure of himself. Besides, I still have the other brand new tire, if he tore the first one up...

30 minutes later I was paying for my now reinstalled and fully inflated tire. $10 to the shop and a couple of bucks tip to the dude who wrangled my tiller shoes back on. Somehow I knew it would end up costing me $12.

So this year's tilling has cost me $3+$12+$12+12+gas and oil. Pretty steep for a tool that only runs for about two hours a year... No wonder Dad wasn't really worried about getting this thing back. Maybe I should recoup my investment and start charging him tiller storage. Right after I finish up with it tonight...

4 comments:

Jen said...

That's awesome, Mike. I'm glad in the end you conquered that tiller! Hopefully, next time you need it . . . it won't need fixin'. I wonder if your Dad laughed as you took that thing away . . . .

Mike said...

Never even considered that, Jen. Hmmm.

Well, either way, I am done again for another season and the tiller is already back in the shed.

Boss Lady said...

Hey Mike, you really need to tell the story of how your dad "bought" the tiller at Lowe's. That's a story worth laughing at. It is the reason he didn't mind driving it 180 miles to live with you!

PS--the yard looks GREAT! Totally ready for the bash on Friday. CBH.

Mike said...

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